NYRA announces probables for Stars & Stripes Day
By NYRA Communications | 06/30/2014 11:03 PM ET
Belmont Park will host the inaugural Stars & Stripes Day on July 5, which will feature five graded stakes worth $3.35 million. Below are the probables for the Belmont Derby Invitational, Belmont Oaks Invitational, Suburban Handicap, Belmont Sprint Championship, and Dwyer.
The aptly named Toast of New York is likely to headline the Grade 1, $1.25 Belmont Derby, formerly contested as the Jamaica Handicap.
Toast of New York, trained by Jamie Osborne for Mike Buckley, burst onto the international racing scene with an authoritative 2 ½-length victory in the UAE Derby in his stakes debut. The bay colt's career began inconspicuously last year in Great Britain as he lost his two races against suspect competition, but he then rattled off a pair of wins at Wolverhampton by a combined 28 lengths before taking the UAE Derby in his only start of 2014.
Toast of New York is likely to be joined by the French-bred Gailo Chop, who has won his last four outings in France, including a pair of Group 3 races for trainer Antoine De Watrigant and owner OTI Racing.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien is probable to run Adelaide, a Group 3 winner in Ireland owned by Coolmore. The son of Galileo finished second in the 1 ½-mile, Group 2 King Edward VII at Royal Ascot in his most recent start.
Pornichet, who finished third in a Group 1 race in France in his last start, rounds out the quartet of foreign raiders likely to compete in the Belmont Derby.
American runners Bobby's Kitten, Dance With Fate, Flamboyant, Gala
Award, Global View, Mr Speaker and Sheldon are all probable to run.
The Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks, formerly the Garden City, is likely to feature an intriguing blend of European and American runners.
Leading the Euro contingent is the two-time Group 1 placed Xcellence, who is trained by Francois Doumen for Martin Schwartz and based in France.
Trainer Dermot Weld, who won the 1990 edition of the Belmont Stakes with Go and Go, is likely to send out Flying Jib, winner of her past three starts in Ireland, including a Group 3.
Eastern Belle is probable to run for trainer John Gosden and owner Antoinette Oppenheimer. The Champs Elysees filly broke her maiden in a 1 ¼-mile stakes in her last start.
The French-based Goldy Espony, now in the care of trainer Chad Brown, is likely to run. The gray filly is a Group 3 winner in France.
Wonderfully, an Aidan O'Brien trained filly, is likely to complete the European participation.
Trainer Christophe Clement is probable to saddle a pair of American hopefuls: Sea Queen - who won the Wonder Again, the local prep for the Belmont Oaks - and Summer Solo, an undefeated filly testing stakes company for the first time.
Other American runners likely to run are Minorette, My Conquestadory, Recepta, Room Service and Rosalind.
The Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap, a mainstay of the Belmont Park stakes schedule, will be contested at 1 ¼ miles for the first time since 2009. The race's distance was 1 1/8 miles from 2010-2013. The Suburban is open to 4-year-olds and up.
Norumbega and Micromanage, who were separated by only a neck when finishing 1-2 in the Grade 2, 1 ½-mile Brooklyn Invitational on June 7, are expected to meet again in the Suburban. Ever Rider, fourth in the Brooklyn, also is probable for Saturday's race.
Last Gunfighter will aim for his seventh stakes victory in the Suburban. He has won two straight: the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap in November and Penn National's Mountainview Handicap on May 31.
The Suburban probables also include Moreno, Mylute, Romansh, and Stormin Monarcho. Perfect Title, Prayer for Relief, and Vyjack are possible.
Central Banker, who was scratched out of the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on June 7, is slated to return to Belmont Park to compete in the Grade 3, $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up which was formerly run at Saratoga Race Course as the James Marvin Stakes. In his most recent start, Central Banker won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs by a head on May 3.
Palace also brings winning graded stakes form into the Belmont Sprint Championship, having captured the Grade 2 True North by three-quarters of a length on June 6. He is winless in two starts at the Belmont Sprint Championship's seven-furlong distance.
Also expected for the Belmont Sprint Championship are Big Screen, Clearly Now, Declan's Warrior, Moonlight Song, Salutos Amigos, and Sensational Slam. Eastwood and Mezzano are possible.
Kid Cruz, who has won three stakes, will attempt to land his first graded stakes score in the Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds. The colt, named for New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, took the Private Terms and Federico Tesio earlier this year in Maryland before finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Preakness in May. He regained the winning thread with a 3 ¼-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Easy Goer on June 7 at Belmont.
Captain Serious, who is unbeaten in three starts against New York-breds, will take on open company and race beyond seven furlongs for the first time in the Dwyer. Most recently, Captain Serious, who is named in honor of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, took Belmont's Mike Lee by three lengths on May 31.
Gaining Ground, Mexikoma, Spot, Tiz Dark, and Ulbanator complete the list of Dwyer probables.